The source said “it’s done,” which allows the Orioles finally to plug the hole in their rotation created when left-hander Wei-Yin Chen signed with the Marlins.
Rather than receive a guaranteed $35 million over three years, Gallardo is assured of getting $22 million, including a $2 million buyout. A $13 million option instead of the buyout pushes the potential value to $33 million, according to another source.
Gallardo will receive $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. Then it’s a matter of adding $2 million or $13 million.
The original deal included a $13 million option in the fourth year.
The Orioles’ concerns about Gallardo’s right shoulder were alleviated after a follow up exam. Changing a third guaranteed year to an option provides some protection in case it becomes an issue later in the contract.
Gallardo took his physical on Monday and the Orioles sent him for more diagnostic tests the following day. Doubts remained today whether the deal would crumble. However, reports of his dead shoulder were greatly exaggerated.
The Orioles will surrender the 14th overall pick as compensation for signing Gallardo. They also will lose the 28th overall pick once outfielder Dexter Fowler passes his physical, which is expected to take place on Thursday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Gallardo, who turns 30 later this month, is 102-75 with a 3.66 ERA in nine major league seasons. He’s made 30 or more starts in seven consecutive years. Durability hasn’t been a problem.
By adding Gallardo, the Orioles are committed to a right-handed rotation that also includes Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman. Manager Buck Showalter must decide how to slot them. Tillman and Gallardo will sit atop the rotation in an undetermined order.
A corresponding 40-man roster move is coming, with a pitcher likely to be removed to create room for Gallardo. However, Showalter said it doesn’t necessarily have to be an arm. We’ll see.
All that’s left for the Orioles, barring injuries, is filling the last open bullpen spot and two openings on the bench.